You never want to DNF a book, but sometimes it happens anyway. The book isn’t as good as you’d expected or heard, or maybe your attention just gets captured elsewhere and before you know it, it’s been weeks or even months since you last abandoned that book and now have a funny guilty feeling whenever you see it lying on the counter because deep down, you know you won’t be coming back to it.
But DNFs aren’t anything to feel guilty or bad over! I used to feel this internal pressure to finish every book I started, as if it was reflection on my character – like it meant I was persevering or loyal or something. But gradually I moved away from this mindset. There are so many amazing books in the world that if I’m not enjoying something, I leave it! What’s also comforting to me is knowing that even if I DNF something today, doesn’t mean it’s DNF forever. I can always come back to it later in life – maybe when I have more time, or perhaps more ready to appreciate it.
Below, three books that I recently put down…but plan to finish at some point 🙂
I was about 60% through when I had to leave it, despite loving what I’d read so far. Why? Because I know there’s a sad ending, and I like Lily and the entire early-20th-century environment so much that I didn’t want to experience her ultimate downfall. I’m been so good about avoiding any spoilers (spoilers for a 115 year old book, I know) because I actually do want to find out for myself what happens, but for right now, I need a little distance! (I make it sound like we’re in a relationship or something)
Ed Yong is a science journalist for The Atlantic and I’ve always enjoyed reading his thoughtful essays. He recently came out with a book about microbes – I know, it sounds dry and boring, but the way he writes makes them fascinating! The thing is, this book is so freaking dense (his characteristic writing style) and I was looking for something much lighter at the time, so it’s sitting in my Kindle for now, waiting for when I’m ready to tackle it better.
Very similar situation as above. I liked the first 15% of it that I read, but this book is so huge and encompassing (you can tell by the generic blurb that there’s no good way of summing it up) that I just wasn’t ready to jump into this vast new world yet. I’m leaving this for a time when the world has calmed down more.
What books have you unfinished recently? I’d like to hear!
(prompt by That Artsy Reader Girl, photo by Book Pairings)